Cards Against Humanity creates a STEM scholarship for women

The makers of Cards Against Humanity, the gleefully offensive party game, announced Monday that they're creating a scholarship for women seeking degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. The scholarship will be funded with the proceeds from a new pack of cards for the game. 

Steve Helber/AP/File
William & Mary professor Elizabeth Harbron displays vials with merocyanine and rhodamine dye in her lab in Williamsburg, Va. in 2011. The makers of the party card game Cards Against Humanity have raised nearly $2 million for charitable causes with special-edition packs of cards.

For a game designed for “horrible people,” Cards Against Humanity is being pretty darn cool to women interested in studying the sciences.

The makers of the gleefully offensive party game announced Monday that they’re creating a scholarship for women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields.

The Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship will be funded with 100% of the proceeds from a new expansion pack of game cards focused on science.

“Everyone at Cards Against Humanity was fortunate enough to receive a great college education that helped us find a job that we’re passionate about, and our goal with this scholarship is to make that opportunity available to others,” Cards Against Humanity community manager Jenn Bane said in a typically irreverent news release. “Several of the co-creators of Cards Against Humanity earned degrees in science, whereas I got a degree in journalism. Now look at where I am. Writing this press release for them.”

Cards Against Humanity is a card game that revels in being rude, raunchy and politically incorrect. If you’ve never played, think of it as an NC-17 version of Apples to Apples. Each round, one player asks a question written on a black card, and the others try to provide the funniest answer with a white card.

With the right group of friends, that usually means the most outlandish or offensive answer, of course.

But if they’re truly horrible people, the team behind the game has a funny way of showing it.

Charity packs like the one released Monday have raised nearly $2 million for nonprofits, including the Wikimedia Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation and — where Cards Against Humanity says it has funded more than 12,500 projects in low-income classrooms throughout the United States.

The STEM scholarship fund is an effort close to the team’s hearts. Co-creator Josh Dillon is set to defend his thesis in astrophysics at MIT this fall.

“Women are underrepresented in science, tech, engineering, and math, and we felt like the funding from this pack could have the greatest impact by making it possible for more women to get an education in those fields, and by giving them a platform to share their work and their passion for science,” Dillon said in the release.

Applications for the scholarship will be reviewed by a board of more than 40 women who work in the sciences, including at NASA, Harvard Medical School, the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Applications will be opened to the public for the school year beginning in fall 2016. Recipients, who may apply while in high school or college, will receive full tuition for up to four years. Students may sign up to be notified when applications are opened at

The new charity card pack, available at Cards Against Humanity’s website, sells for $10.

Doug Gross is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow him on Twitter@doug_gross and on Google+.


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